Weddings happen in real life. With real people. So how can we ever expect them to be perfect?

During my wedding daydreaming and the early days of planning, I appear to have adopted a belief that some ethereal magic makes everything go right. For example, if I consider having my make-up done by another person on any other day, I picture the very likely scenario of being dumb with remorse when handed the […]

Palma de Mallorca

Day 0 – The Night Before Welcome to Birmingham International Airport Car Park. Auto number plate recognition in operation for pre-booked customers, the sign read. Emmy waited. The barrier did not move. She was, of course, a pre-booked customer. Emmy booked everything as far in advance as humanly possible. And yes, her car was filthy […]


When the rain won’t stop teeming and the unforgiving arrow of winter still cuts through the air, retreating into a cosy cavern of tasty food is an ideal way to salvage a Sunday. Such was the conclusion reached by Emmy and Vernon on an early March weekend. Vernon creaked open the door to Bill’s restaurant […]

Caffe Nero

It felt like New Year’s Day. It wasn’t, of course. It was Valentine’s Day, as proclaimed by garish cerise balloons dancing in the breeze around Leamington. But the rejuvenating sense of new dawns that typically occupied the first day of the year mysteriously crept into this February morning. Something about the way the pale blue […]

Shopping Local Part I

“Now these are divine”, the lady serving in Aubrey Allen smiled with a glinting eye, carefully packing the praline quail eggs into a paper bag. Emmy grinned with confident anticipation that Vernon would agree. The chocolates were another filler for his stocking which was, until a mere half an hour ago, at risk of hanging […]

Christmas Lights Switch-On

Happy anticipation caused Emmy’s leg to jiggle underneath the table. She checked her watch. “Fifteen minutes! Let’s move.” Vernon’s eyebrows raised a smidgeon before his mouth pursed in concentration and his entire attention was diverted back to his iPad. “How can they ask that much for that garden…?” he grumbled. Emmy uncrossed and re-crossed her […]